“See, this is the problem,” she started. “This is what they do to us. They force us to evaluate our lives, as if we can turn back time. But you and I both know that we aren’t time travelers, and we can’t change the past.”
~ Sunshine is Forever ~
by Kyle Cowan
Page Count: 251 (Kindle Edition)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Okay so “Top Ten Tuesdays” have been cancelled until August so I’m moving my book review days from Monday, to Tuesday until August. Gives me a little bit of time to do some things and relieves some stress. BUT anways! I am crazily shocked by how much I loved this book. It’s one of the special books that you knew you were going love it, but then you actually read it and it blows you away 1000x more than you expected it to. That was exactly what happened with this book. I’m still just like holy wow that was amazing. There is seriously like nothing I can think about to complain about this. Okay though, I won’t lie, I think a few people should stay away from this though because there a lot of potential triggers. The biggest is, of course, suicide and there is self-harm as well as depression. Though the one thing that made this book even more amazing was how brutally honest it is. I’m also not going to completely dive into the review because this one doesn’t come out for awhile and don’t want to spoil some things. There are a few spoilers but they are marked and are 100% safe to read.
Overview of the Story:
Hunter, our main character, has the idea wrapped around his head that being with someone will cure him of his depression. Uhmm it’s pretty interesting to see why he thinks so, and why he is depressed. But there is one incident in his life that he labels “The Incident” which is what makes him suicidal and what makes him depressed. And yes, this book has a HUGE focus on suicide, which I enjoyed because it wasn’t trying to glorify suicide with romantic notions, or excuse suicide as something that is normal and that happens. But I’ll come back to that later lol. OKAY so, since he’s depressed (lets see how many times I can say that in this review AHA) his parents are sending him to Camp Sunshine. This camp is a place for recovering ex-suicidies (okay what do you call someone who tried to kill themselves but didn’t end up making it? I don’t think ex-suicidies is a good word at ALL lolololol hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say) So anyways, Camp Sunshine is the equivalent to HELL in our world okay, it’s a horrible place with horrible people, with the exception of one Counselor who I actually liked. Anyways, the whole point was for him to recover from his depression and suicidal thoughts, but it isn’t easy, which the author portrays so WELL. OML I can’t tell y’all how important and amazing this book is.
What I Loved #1:
I connected so much with Hunter. There was quite a bit about him that I really couldn’t connect to due to his personal life that didn’t match mine. But his beliefs on suicide and death are pretty much exactly my beliefs. Here is a quote showing exactly his viewpoint and thoughts on suicide as well as self-harm. (spoiler regarding a character in quote number three, but I didn’t put his name in there so you can still read it)
”The truth is that suicide isn’t that sad to me— in a lot of ways, suicide is a relief. The person’s family no longer has to deal with a rainstorm every day and the person is finally free of the lightning storm that had consumed their life.”
“Suicide is a culmination of thousands of bad moments built up into one single event. Suicide is a way out when it doesn’t seem like any alternative exists. Suicide is the only choice when a person can’t find any way to feel happy. Suicide is escape.”
“I realized that if (name) didn’t cut himself, then eventually his pain would erupt out of him in an action that was way worse than a cut on his thigh. The truth was that I didn’t think they had to do anything at all. (name) should have the right to self-inflict pain if he wanted. We all should have complete control over how we live our lives— or if we even want to live them at all.”
Okay though I want to say that in no way do I think self-harm or suicide are healthy. Or acceptable way of leaving life. Do I understand the want to leave life and just end it all? Of course I do. But I also don’t think it’s okay. Do I understand the need to inflict pain on yourself because it’s something that helps? Of course I do. But again I don’t think it’s okay. I don’t think it’s healthy at all, but I still agree with him. I feel like sometimes, that some books will come at suicide or self-harm like it’s this heinous crime and no one should EVER think about it or try it. It’s pretty much the highest of Sins according to a majority of the novels I’ve read. BUT this one shows that it’s something that we think about. It’s a realistic thought process and it’s harsh, but it’s true. This aspect just made me love the book 100x more.
What I Loved #2:
I loved the male friendship in this book. To me, it’s very rare to see realistic male friendships. All the guys in a book always either hate each other, or they have no emotional connection at ALL. My absolute favorite male friendship of all time is, of course, Will Herondale and James Carstairs. They love each other but they still crack jokes and are just friends. I really loved Quints and Hunters friendship because they started off rough, okay REALLY rough, but they ended up being best buds and it was great. They trusted each other (somewhat) and cracked jokes and made fun but were still friends and it was AWESOME.
The Craziest Love Interest I’ve Ever Met:
Now this love interest is INTERESTING. Very interesting. She’s made out to be the prettiest perfect girl in this camp and she can not be TRUSTED. Nope. Nope. Nope. But she’s also been this camp THREE times. THREE TIMES LIKE WHAT EVEN?? But um yeah I learned early on that she is just hmmm … yeah weird. LOL but then the ending comes around and you find out exactly why she is the way she is and it’s EMOTIONAL. AGH that whole ending scene is CRAZY emotional and unexpected and crazy and I just cannot explain it.
”Funny how happiness hits us when we least expect it.”
”I couldn’t subdue my demons— my demons had already consumed me.”
“You can’t be happy unless you know how to feel sad, but you also can’t let yourself be sad for all of eternity. Focusing on your past will only bring back more pain.”
Everything about this book was 6/5 stars. I didn’t hate anything about it and Mr. Cowan is definitely a new “Auto-Buy” author. ALSO I want to throw in that the writing is crazy flowery, or just super flowy. It’s nice writing that fits the story perfectly and fits the pace and it’s 11/10. Ahaha I could just rave about this book forever to be honest. But I’ll stop so, peace out my folks and make sure to check this book out on August 29th when it’s released! The Amazon link is here!
*Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this for an honest review*
**Quotes are taken from an ARC, they are not final**
I hope y’all have a great day and Happy Reading!